In this week’s episode of Drunk History, “Bar Fights,” Crissle West recounts the real, non-Roland Emmerichy version of the Stonewall Riots story. Significant in that it gives credit to where it is due, to the badasses that were Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, founders of the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (later renamed to Transgender when Rivera revived it in 2001), and mother figures to the modern queer rights movement.
For the casting of Johnson and Rivera, Comedy Central managed to figure out the secret to casting trans in the roles of trans characters, a task that a lot of other productions seem to have struggled with.
Turns out, you can just cast us. Like that’s literally all you have to do, and it works. Alexandra Grey and Trace Lysette are able to mouth the lines and everything, and are joined by several trans background actors too. So, for those keeping score, currently the most progressive treatment of trans people in American TV are now Comedy Central and CMT which recently cast Her Story’s Emmy nominee Jen Richards in a recurring role for the upcoming season of Nashville. (Although to be fair, both Grey and Lysette have also appeared on Transparent in featured speaking roles)
Check out the clip below!